Spontaneous Sherlock: Comedy Spotlight

The game is afoot! Will Naameh of Edinburgh improvisers Spontaneous Sherlock and Men with Coconuts attempts to find a 'seven-per-cent' solution to our Spotlight questions...

Feature by Jenni Ajderian | 19 Jul 2017
  • Spontaneous Sherlock

There have been many Sherlock reboots and adaptations of late; who would win in a Battle Royale-style detective-off between the main contenders: Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr, Jonny Lee Miller, Danger Mouse and Dr Gregory House?
All of these contenders are pretty evenly matched. But my money's on Danger Mouse. All the other contenders routinely use drugs, and to my knowledge Danger Mouse has never shot up on cocaine. So I reckon he's got the edge.

Likewise between the assistants: Martin Freeman, Jude Law, Lucy Liu, Penfold, Dr Wilson?
My money's on Lucy Liu. Her Watson is by far the most intelligent. Penfold would come last and cry.

Do you have to have an opiate habit to work here, or does it just help?
Before each show we generally warm up by doing short improv scenes in a Victorian genre. But we've never taken opiates to prepare for a show. Yet.

The Great Detective's hobbies include violin playing, amateur boxing and sneering at lesser minds. How would you recommend visitors to Edinburgh spend their time when not frequenting improvisational comedy shows?
Well, two of us in the cast of Spontaneous Sherlock work for The Potter Trail – Edinburgh's Harry Potter walking tours. So I'd say come see us dressing up as wizards. That's the full Edinburgh experience.

Who – or what – is the Moriarty to Spontaneous Sherlock's Sherlock?
Because Spontaneous Sherlock is 100% improvised, the characters go through various iterations and depictions, and that includes Sherlock himself! So that's not an easy question to answer. But I do remember one show in particular where Moriarty spent most of the story masquerading as the Human Torch. So that was a pretty strong move.

And the Irene Adler?
Similarly, Irene Adler has been depicted quite a few ways in Spontaneous Sherlock. And Sherlock's had quite a few love interests too; he's actually ended up married to Mrs Hudson at least twice. Can't stand in the way of true love.

Spontaneous Sherlock features live musical accompaniment – are we to believe that Holmes and Watson might engage in a dance-off sometime soon?
This genuinely happened in a show at last year's Edinburgh Fringe! In other shows Sherlock and Watson have also had a rap battle, sung the entire Pokémon theme song, and joined a scat collective of orphans living in a tunnel called 'The Railway Boiz'. We take Arthur Conan Doyle's work very seriously.

Spontaneous Sherlock plays The Monkey Barrel Comedy Club monthly, and at the Edinburgh Fringe: PBH Free Fringe at The Liquid Room (Annexe), 5-27 Aug, 7.50pm, free